Room & Board (Volunteer)

March 28, 2011The Experience, Volunteer

Living Conditions

Since we work with both public and private schools, your school could be a boarding school where the children live and eat on the school campus; a school where students travel home on weekends; or a public school where the students come and go every day. Private schools often have more resources and are able to provide a step-up in apartments. However, both public and private schools offer very reasonable and sanitary living conditions.

What will my apartment be like in China?

The school is responsible for providing a free, clean, furnished, climate-controlled (meaning heat and AC, which is not common in China) apartment. However, be aware that Chinese heating and AC sources may not be as efficient as you are accustomed to. Though the apartment is heated, it may still be ‘cool’ in your standards. Remember that you are living in a developing country. Please be considerate and do┬ánot waste water or electricity, especially when the school is covering the costs.

The layout style of each apartment differs regarding the number of bedrooms and whether or not a kitchen is provided. All apartments are contracted to have a private bathroom and shower with a western-style toilet. However, there are a few schools that are still ‘modernizing’ which have ‘squatter’ toilets. Most furnishings include a TV, VCD/DVD player, telephone, bed with coverings, wardrobe cabinet, desk, chair/couch, refrigerator, computer with internet access, and a washing machine. China Horizons, however, cannot guarantee each of these amenities. All of the rooms are private with a lock and key issued to the foreign teacher.

What will the eating conditions be like?

You will receive a meal card or cash stipend to use each month at the school cafeteria or to buy your own groceries to cook in your apartment. Since the cafeteria food is Chinese food, it varies vastly from western tastes. Sometimes it takes several weeks to┬ábecome accustomed to this change of diet. Much of the Chinese diet consists of noodles, rice, steamed/deep fried meat and vegetables, fish, chicken, pork, and beef. Most teachers LOVE the food and miss it. You will most likely be asked to try something very ‘foreign.’ What you eat is up to you. Just be polite about it.